The answer to your question will most likely depend on which car rental company you rent from. I did a bit of research and here is the information that I found:
*Note: Companies can modify policy at any time; I make every attempt to maintain up-to-date info, but always check with an individual company to verify any policy. See: Disclaimer
(opens in a new window) you are allowed make a single reservation for up
to 90 days and after 30 days you must return back to the rental location to sign another contract (you will be returning back to the rental location probably several times during the rental, depending on the length of the rental).
Up to the first 3 months (or 90 days) of the long term rental will be authorized on your credit card at the time of the first pick up, and then the remaining months (up to 3 months or 90 days) will also be authorized on your card at the time of pick up of the next rental. If your rental is longer than six months, the remaining months (again up to 3 months or 90 days) would be authorized on your credit card at the time of the third pickup.
Each credit card authorization, or amount of deposit on a long term car rental, would be for the estimated total for that rental period.. including all taxes, surcharges, optional purchases, etc.
There is no extra amount required for deposit. If you for some reason return earlier than specified at the beginning of the rental, and your total charges would be lowered, after the final rental period is completed and the car is returned, you would be refunded the difference after the rental charges were deducted from the original deposit amount.
Avis and Budget(owned by the same company)
Avis calls their long term rental program a mini lease.
Budget calls their long term rental program Budget by the monthAvis.com and Budget.com (open in new windows) state the following with reqards to
"No return or contract renewal required for the rental period - all your monthly agreements are filled out when you pick up your car. All charges are automatically billed each month."
I contacted an Avis representative and a Budget rep to ask if the charges billed each month were just for the estimated rental charges or if there was an additional amount of deposit on a long term car rental. Neither agent could not find any information on this matter, and said that you would have to contact the rental location directly, in order to find out if an additional deposit (other than the estimated monthly charges) would be required on the first or any subsequent months of a long term rental, and if so, when the deposit would be refunded.
Dollar and Thrifty
According toDollar.com and Thrifty.com (open in new windows)
You can only rent a car for 28 days at a time. There is an additional amount of deposit on a long term car rental. A hold will be placed on your credit card for the estimated amount of the 28 day rental PLUS 15%.
Dollar and/or Thrifty will remove the hold (and refund the extra 15% deposit) at the end of the rental when the final charges are settled.
Every 28 days you would have to return the car, end one contract and start another.
EnterpriseAccording to Enterprise.com (opens in a new window)
For the Enterprise month or more program, you fill out an initial contract with an addendum that allows Enterprise to charge your credit card monthly for each month of a long term rental. The amount of deposit on a long term car rental is usually just the estimated monthly charges, but the Enterprise rep that I spoke to said that some locations may require an additional deposit amount each month as well.... you would have to contact your preferred rental location directly in order to determine whether or not an extra deposit is required, and if so, when the deposit would be refunded.
HertzFor Hertz.com multi month rentals are charged to your credit card one month at a time, for
the estimated monthly charges. He did say that there would be an additional amount of deposit on a long term car rental... for the first month, your credit card would be authorized for the estimated monthly charges, plus an additional $200. This $200 deposit would be refunded at the end of the long term rental, after the car was returned.
I contacted a National rep to ask about the required amount of deposit on a long term car rental.
I was told that:
"The total amount that is listed on your reservation will be the amount that is authorized on your credit card. National Car Rental does not require an extra deposit.
Also, since you will be renting more than one month, the location may require that you return and resign a new contract at the end of each month. This is for reporting purposes. However, your rate should still remain the same, even though re-signing your contract."